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Maui Shore Diving Official Guide – Breadcrumbs Guide

Maui Shore Diving - Me with a turtle

I’m so excited to share this Maui Shore Diving Guide with you from a pal of mine, Caitlin Maratea! She and her husband, Kevin, personal Banyan Tree Divers on Maui, and she or he was our teacher for Garren’s and my first ocean dives after getting SCUBA licensed in Minnesota.

Maui Shore Diving - Me with a turtle

That’s me! and a turtle! I feel we noticed about 100 of them. Do you see Garren peeking across the coral? Caitlin additionally took photographs throughout our dive, which was so cool to have the ability to look again and see all of it once more!

We liked that Banyan Tree Divers did shore dives, as a result of it appeared like a neater entry into the world of SCUBA. I used to be undoubtedly a bit nervous about dropping into the deep. However slowly following the sandy backside from shore to a stunning reef? Yep I can do this! Not many dive corporations had the critiques or expertise that Banyan Tree might give us, so it was a simple selection. Garren and I have been so impressed with our expertise with Caitlin, we signed up together with her once more once we got here again to Maui this yr.

Caitlin actually is aware of her stuff with hundreds of dives beneath her belt, and I wouldn’t need anybody else guiding me once I’m shore diving on Maui. So once we met up once more this yr I requested her if she want to contribute a visitor information for you all. I’m so comfortable she stated sure!

So I’ll move it off to Caitlin and her superior underwater pictures of all of the locations she will take you shore diving on Maui! 

Maui Shore Diving

Hello everybody, I’m Caitlin Maratea and I’ve been diving for 12 years. I’ve led over 2,000 dives on Maui and counting! My ardour for educating and scuba diving made turning into a dive teacher a pure profession selection. I possess a profound respect for the ocean and its inhabitants, and I attempt to use each dive as an avenue to speak to individuals about coral reef and ocean conservation. My husband, Kevin, and I began Banyan Tree Divers in 2013 to supply Maui guests protected, enjoyable and academic dive experiences. Our hope is that this information will give these interesetd in diving on Maui distinctive perception into the superb magnificence Maui’s reef system has to supply, whereas sustaining consciousness of defending its delicate and finite coral reef surroundings.

Why Shore Diving?

Maui shore diving is shortly turning into one of the fashionable actions on the island. Scuba and Snorkeling are presently ranked 1st on TripAdvisor’s listing of issues to do on Maui. The accessibility to beautiful reef techniques coupled with the comfort of ending two morning dives earlier than lunch, makes many divers assume twice about committing to lengthy dive excursions to neighboring islands. It’s little recognized that a lot of the greatest dive websites on Maui are literally shore dives. Whether or not you’re a seasoned licensed diver or have by no means tried diving earlier than, there are engaging sights and circumstances for any degree of scuba diver. We’ll talk about well-liked websites, what you possibly can anticipate to see, and ideas and tips for shore diving on Maui safely.

West Maui Shore Diving

Maui Shore Diving - Airport Beach

Airport Seashore (Kahekili Reef), Kaanpali:

Situated in entrance of the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resorts villas, recognized regionally as Airport Seashore, is a stretch of fringing reef that extends alongside the shoreline. This dive website is a superb residence base for Banyan Tree Divers as a result of the coral reef begins instantly and doesn’t require an extended floor swim to start the dive. Shallow sandy channels make nice “classrooms” for educating college students how one can dive, and hidden coral heads in depths of as much as 80ft make this website extremely versatile for all ranges of diving. Circumstances in the course of the summer time months are sometimes lake calm permitting for optimum visibility and lightweight.

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

Except for the colourful neon inexperienced to brilliant purple corals, divers can anticipate to see quite a lot of marine life. Moray eels are a standard sight. The yellow margin moray eel is a big resident rising to lengths of as much as 4ft (1.2m). In case you are fortunate you’ll be able to typically see these hunters free swimming within the open on the lookout for injured prey as a simple meal. Barely smaller noticed moray eels may also be seen hiding in coral crevices. This can be a good cause to not attain into any holes that could be residence to defensive moray eels. Banyan Tree Divers friends have been just lately fortunate sufficient to see the very unusual dragon moray eel at this dive website throughout a stormy swell when circumstances have been lower than ideally suited. It simply goes to point out that even when circumstances aren’t good, you by no means know what treasures one can find on any dive.

Turtles are definitely on the prime of most divers’ lists when Maui shore diving. Airport Seashore is an enormous dive website and turtle sightings right here might be hit and miss. Once we do encounter turtles they’re often fairly giant and are both passing via the dive website, or stopping for a hearty snack. This website is a congregation website for hawksbill turtles in the course of the summer time and fall months. Hawaii Wildlife Fund conducts analysis and monitoring at this website, and collects underwater pictures of resident hawksbills. Ship your photographs of a hawksbill encounter to the e-mail listed right here and assist contribute to necessary analysis and conservation efforts!

Hawaii hosts an unimaginable quantity of endemic species. 25% of the ocean life right here can’t be discovered anyplace else on the planet. Airport Seashore is a spot the place you possibly can see the Hawaiian damsel fish in abundance and fortunate divers even have the prospect for a Hawaiian monk seal sighting.

Maui Shore Diving - FishMaui Shore Diving - Turtle Airport BeachMaui Shore Diving - Airport Beach Eel

Ideas and Tips:

Whereas Airport Seashore is an effective place for novice divers, you must nonetheless pay particular consideration to securely enter and exit the water. The rocks start virtually instantly and it’s a necessity to guard your ft with dive boots. Which means it would be best to have open heel fins for diving. We embrace all the gear you would wish at Banyan Tree Divers. Be cautious of dive operations that don’t present foot safety and correct diving fins.

Most days are calm however typically Airport Seashore has some fairly heavy shore breaking waves. Should you plan to dive when shore break is current, then ensure you get buoyant and previous the shore break earlier than placing in your fins. Entry in these circumstances is far simpler than the exit. When exiting the water depart sufficient time to take away your fins earlier than reaching the shore. Heavy surf can ship unaware divers for a journey up the seashore. Not solely is the spectacle extremely entertaining for seashore goers at your expense, you danger damaging your dive gear by filling it with sand. Finally we don’t advocate novice divers enter the water beneath these sorts of circumstances. Know your limits!

Maui Shore Diving - Mala Pier

Mala Pier

Mala Pier is among the premier Maui shore diving places. Divers come from everywhere in the island to expertise the abundance of sea life that gathers at this sunken pier. Hurricane Iniki decimated the pier again in 1992, giving the construction over 20 years to develop a wonderful synthetic reef. The concrete shelters function nice hiding locations for all types of sea life, and supply swim throughs for curious divers. Its shallow most depth of 30ft permits for prolonged backside time. This dive website can also be fantastic for night time diving. Maui shore diving isn’t full with no go to to this dive website.

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

The place can we begin? At Mala Pier, you will discover virtually any creature that you’d hope to see whereas shore diving on Maui. Turtle sightings are virtually assured. White tip reef sharks are additionally generally seen right here. A plethora of macro life could be discovered together with the properly camouflaged frogfish, nudibranchs, crabs and scorpion fish. Noticed eagle rays are recognized to go to throughout mating season within the fall, and octopus is understood to slink alongside the developed areas of reef. The huge array of animals all congregating in a single place is actually a sight to behold.

Night time dives at Mala Pier function a thoughts boggling array of nocturnal life together with slipper lobstercrabs, and undulate moray eels. Encounters with the resident white tip reef sharks are additionally widespread, and they’re much extra lively at night time!

Maui Shore Diving - Mala Pier TurtlesMaui Shore Diving - Mala Pier Night DiveMaui Shore Diving - Mala Pier Shark

Ideas and Tips:

The recognition of Mala Pier has led to a rise in guests in recent times. It’s of the utmost significance to respect this finite space of reef and shield it for generations to return. It’s an all too widespread theme that fashionable dive and snorkel websites danger turning into “over-loved” by careless divers and snorkelers. Maui shore diving requires additional care. Getting into and exiting from shore can result in a number of, pointless interactions with stay coral. We implore scuba divers to comply with these necessary diving practices to make sure not solely private security, however security for the reef and its inhabitants. Finally, until you’ve in depth dive expertise, it’s best to rent a information (insert shameless self promotion right here 😉) for this website.

1) Maintain your arms to your self

Many licensed divers have heard the phrase “take only photos and leave only bubbles.” We’ve got personally witnessed divers choosing up sea life resembling pencil urchins, sea stars, even an octopus and passing them round for a photograph op. We have now additionally seen divers and snorkelers touching turtles at this website which carries a hefty nice in Hawaii. We now have even seen individuals harassing the reef sharks resting on the underside with a purpose to get them to swim round for patrons to see. Banyan Tree Divers Scuba is strictly towards touching, teasing or harassing sea life. Touching turtles or perhaps a seemingly inanimate object comparable to sea star or a conch causes it stress, and places it vulnerable to an infection from micro organism discovered on human pores and skin.

Any sea turtle harassment or unlawful interactions must be reported to Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Assets Enforcement at (808)-984-8110.

2) Shield the Coral

Mala Pier is a reasonably small dive website and reef progress is restricted to a confined space. Sufficient buoyancy management is an absolute should. Concentrate on the place you’re kicking. Even barely brushing up towards coral cannot solely trigger a nasty reduce however can even kill the coral itself. The silty backside composition signifies that insufficient buoyancy will fire up the sand and never solely hurt the visibility, but in addition trigger silt to choose the reef which chokes it. In response to the PADI web site divers have on common 10 interactions with coral on every dive. Should you think about many divers in a single small space continually hitting the reef, it’s straightforward to see how corals get broken over time. Being aware is all it takes.

three) Enter/Exit Legally and Safely

Mala Pier is situated immediately subsequent to a ship launch. It’s unlawful to enter the water by way of the launch ramp. Boat visitors is widespread and even divers with dive flags might be missed. Talking of dive flags, all the time have a dive flag with you. It’s a $500 high-quality to dive and not using a flag and they’re particularly mandatory in areas with excessive boat visitors.

It’s essential to enter and exit alongside the south aspect of the pier. The entry is rocky and really shallow so don’t try with out dive boots for foot safety. The world closest to the pier itself is the least rocky and also you gained’t stroll on reside coral. As soon as it’s deep sufficient to drift you’ll be able to put in your fins and kick out the remainder of the best way.

This website sits adjoining to burial grounds and an area seashore. Present reverence to the encompassing land and burial grounds by staying out of the grave websites, and respect the native residents. Dive this website with Aloha and it’ll reward you with an unforgettable expertise!

Maui Shore Diving - Olowalu

Olowalu (Mile Marker 14):

Olowalu’s Mile Marker 14 is a shallow dive that sits proper on the shoreline simply south of Lahaina. The dramatic backdrop of the west Maui mountains makes this space extremely photogenic. Shallow reefs slowly descend to fingered coral formations and sandy valleys. The corals listed here are a number of the oldest in Hawaiian waters. Diving from shore, it’s affordable to succeed in a most depth of about 40ft. This specific website has one of the properly developed reef methods in west Maui. Olowalu was lately named a “hope spot” by conservation big, Mission Blue. This identify designation not solely brings reef conservation consciousness to Maui’s shores on a large scale, it should hopefully deliver funding to raised perceive and shield this delicate sea scape.

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

A number of the giant lobe corals at this website are large and putting. Inexperienced turtles relaxation round these giant coral formations and line as much as get cleaned by resident cleaner wrasse and tangs. Manta rays have been recognized to cross by means of this website however have gotten increasingly of a scarce encounter. Typically you’ll discover octopus hiding in crevices, altering colour and texture to mirror their environment. You might also spot the occasional white tip reef shark right here.

Parrot fish could be seen and heard taking bites out of their coral meals sources. Parrot fish are completely intrinsic to the well being of a reef eco-system. Not solely do they hold coral freed from algae overgrowth, their excrements present the very sand we sit on whereas on the seashore! In case you are mesmerized by butterfly fish and yellow tang, then that is your spot.

Maui Shore Diving - Parrot FishMaui Shore Diving - Olowalu TurtleMaui Shore Diving - Olowalu Octopus

Ideas and Tips:

Since Olowalu has such a shallow entry, make the most of particular care when getting into and exiting the water. The tide is usually so low, that uncovered coral can simply get divers and snorkelers right into a harmful state of affairs if pushed by waves on prime of the coral’s razor sharp floor. We typically see ignorant snorkelers standing on prime of the coral, and after a correct cringe, we kindly share with them the risks they pose not solely to themselves however to the coral by touching it. There’s a particular sandy channel that’s the solely approach to safely enter and exit this dive website. Divers must be snug with navigation expertise to dive this website and not using a information. Ending up within the incorrect place can result in a treacherous route again to shore over shallow, sharp coral heads.

This space of Maui with its shut proximity to I’ao valley and its wealthy Hawaiian historical past make this a very sacred a part of the island. Please pay respect not solely to the native waters, but in addition to the lands and other people.

Maui Shore Diving - Black Rock

Black Rock:

Black Rock is west Maui’s one and solely wall dive. Whereas shallow (most 35ft), its distinctive rock formation options small caverns and nice images alternatives at totally different occasions of day. Restricted lodge parking limits entry to this dive website so the stroll to shore is usually a bit longer. Nevertheless, the abundance of sea life makes the stroll worthwhile.

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

Black Rock often options turtles and large faculties of tang and goat fish. Hawaii’s state fish the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, or Picasso set off fish, is a standard resident. At occasions, a big monk seal likes to take naps beneath the awning of a small cavern. White tip reef sharks cover in these caverns through the day with small faculties of squirrel fish resting with them.

Maui Shore Diving - Black Rock FishMaui Shore Diving - Black Rock TurtleMaui Shore Diving - Black Rock School of Fish

Ideas and Tips:

Until you’re staying on the Sheraton, Black Rock is actually solely accessible from the north finish. Public parking is restricted on this space, requiring a little bit of a stroll to the seashore. Whereas not probably the most ideally suited state of affairs with dive gear, it’s nonetheless a dive value doing. Currents may be robust and unpredictable at this dive website. Maui shore diving currents can change with the change in tides. It is very important be snug diving in present earlier than trying this dive. Whereas thought-about a novice dive website, proficient swimming means is important.

South Maui

South Maui shore diving additionally has some location gems value exploring. Whereas Banyan Tree Divers focuses on diving in west Maui, we have now nice suggestions for Maui shore diving operations in Kihei and Wailea.

Maui Shore Diving - Turtle Town

Makena Touchdown/5 Graves/Turtle City:

This dive website has many names. It’s a in style dive website for each boat diving operations in addition to Maui shore diving. The abundance of turtles that frequent this space lend to the identify Turtle City. 5 Graves refers back to the grave website situated shut by. It doesn’t matter what you name it, this dive has the potential for jam packed enjoyable. The utmost depth is about 40ft and numerous swim throughs permit for thrilling exploration. Although it has been deemed Maui’s Turtle City, I really feel compelled to say that nearly each dive website on Maui might be referred to as “Turtle Town.” They’re all over the place!

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

Apart from turtles, there are a number of white tip reef sharks that like to cover within the shallow caves. Eels are a possible sighting, in addition to cleaner shrimp and colourful fish. Noticed eagle rays additionally like to go to this space. Fortunate divers may even see manta rays right here.

Maui Shore Diving - Turtle Town TurtlesMaui Shore Diving - Rays Turtle TownMaui Shore Diving - Spotted Eagle Ray

Ideas and Tips:

Whereas Maui shore diving is usually handy, that is one website that requires a somewhat lengthy floor swim. The simplest entry is by way of a sandy seashore with a 200 yard swim to the drop level close to the caves. There’s additionally a rocky entry nearer to the descent level, however entry and exit are troublesome, and it lacks parking.

Across the level you’ll discover numerous caves which are undoubtedly value exploring. Due to these overhead environments this website is advisable for superior divers snug with buoyancy management.

Maui Shore Diving - Ulua Beach

Mokapu/Ulua Seashore:

This seashore options the preferred scuba refresher and coaching dive website in South Maui. Parking might be troublesome, however Ulua has good amenities. The straightforward entry and exit, brief floor swim, and number of sea life make this spot an awesome introduction to Maui shore diving.

What you possibly can anticipate to see:

There’s a turtle cleansing station which makes turtle sightings possible. Eels and reef fish together with set off fish, moorish idols, and butterfly fish are additionally ample. An occasional scorpion fish, nudibranch or frog fish can also be a risk.

Maui Shore Diving - Puffer FishMaui Shore Diving - Moorish IdolMaui Shore Diving - Scorpion Fish - Ulua Beach

Ideas and Tips:

As with most dive websites on Maui, it’s best to dive within the morning when circumstances are calm and the wind has not picked up. Watch out to not contact or tease the ocean life. This can be a fashionable place to snorkel and dive so frequent interactions with people usually are not wholesome for the animals.

Remaining Thought

With out query, Maui shore diving is exclusive and has one thing engaging for any water fanatic. Whether or not you want to work together with sea turtles or discover obscure creatures, you don’t need to enterprise far to have some unforgettable scuba diving experiences!

Banyan Tree Divers Scuba caters to all kinds of diving choices. Is it your first time diving? Attempt our Introductory Dive. Are you and your companion or household already licensed? Discover out extra about our Licensed Shore Dives. Are you heading to Maui on your honeymoon and in search of a personal expertise? Otherwise you simply need to guarantee extra one on one consideration out of your teacher? Our Personal Dive for two is the best choice for this.

We provide a variety of PADI Scuba Certifications, together with Referral Dives in addition to Scuba Critiques for licensed divers in want a of refresher.

Be happy to contact Banyan Tree Divers Scuba by way of our web site or at Keep updated on all of our dive adventures by following us on InstagramFb, and Twitter. @banyantreediversscuba

Thanks for studying and completely satisfied diving!



I hope you loved Caitlin’s skilled ideas and superior pictures from her shore dives on Maui. For those who’re planning a visit to Maui, ensure you contact her quickly earlier than she fills up! -Sonja